It's that important time of year again, when independent retailers begin buying holiday season products for their ecommerce warehouses and store shelves. What is going to be hot among Christmas and Hanukkah shoppers in 2012? Glenn Dott, president of All Seasons Home Concepts, has been in the "Christmas industry," as he puts it, since 1987. Dott knows a holiday season trend when he sees one, and he quickly points to the Insta-Shape Christmas tree, which shapes itself out of the box. "These trees literally set up in seven minutes," he explains. "The older generation trees required at least an hour of shaping. In the business, we called it 'fluffing.' With all the things people have to do for Christmas, the Insta-Shape tree is a godsend."
Dott also predicts cordless lighted décor products will be a huge 2012 hit, allowing households to light Christmas trees without having an electrical outlet nearby. The cordless systems have a waterproof box with a timer that turns the lights on at a preprogrammed time. They will run for six hours, and can be set to turn off automatically. "These cordless lights can be mounted on trees, wreaths, swags, garlands, and centerpieces," Dott said. "Last year, customers put them outside to decorate their mailboxes, planters, and front porches. Two D batteries will cycle the lights for a whole season. We have cordless light systems that can power up to 400 LED lights."
Both the cordless lights and Insta-Shape trees can be found at All Seasons Home Concepts websites, www.WholesaleCentral.com/AllSeasons/store.cfm and www.dpac.anthemresource.com. "All Christmas orders must be pre-booked before September if retailers would like to receive them by that month," Dott says. Interested parties should call the Monterey Park, CA firm to get the latest wholesale deals on these hot items. "With our company, you are dealing with experts in the Christmas business," he says. "We focus on technology and direct contact. If a customer needs something for the Christmas season, they're not dealing with employees who don't know the product or the business."
Cool Chimney Hats
Visitors to FunExpress.com will quickly notice various seasonal product categories including Easter, Graduation, and Fiesta. But the wholesale company is keenly focused on maximizing sales for the traditional holidays. Lisa Schaffer, an executive with Fun Express, says its yuletide products mirror the company name in that they are lighthearted. The Chimney Hat, for instance, depicts Santa Clause coming head first down a chimney, with the upside down Santa's legs going straight up into the air. Schaffer also notes, "We have some fun head apparel," mentioning her company's felt ornament headbands.
Other hot seasonal products will include the plush Long Arm Elves and Santa Claus Lip Whistle items. "This holiday season we foresee much interest in apparel," Schaffer predicted. "This will be not just dressing up, but also with festive fun in headbands and hats. Also anticipated are economical stocking stuffers in the $1 to $3 range." Retailers who visit FunExpress.com should feel free to call with any product questions, including wholesale prices. According to Schaffer, callers will get the experience of a veteran customer service team, with top notch product knowledge.
In addition to Christmas items, numerous Hanukkah products are available. The company offers Hanukkah themed balloons, coins, door curtains, yo-yos, and crayons. "Fun Express understands the needs of our retailer customers and what will help to make them successful," Schaffer says. "Listening to the customer is crucial for success. Through this understanding, we are able to customize large programs to meet their corporate and customer needs."
Top Holiday Gifts
Christopher Howard, sales director with Eastwind Wholesale Gift Distributors, agrees with Schaffer that providing retailers with the customer service they need trumps all other business concerns. His company, online at www.Eastwindgifts.com, offers a free drop shipping service that enables any business to instantly expand inventory without a financial investment. "We are fiercely committed to providing a level of service that far exceeds customer expectations in every aspect," Howard says. "Every Eastwindgifts.com team member understands that there has to be a connection between the company and the customer, and every team member is trained to assist and resolve any issue with a skill and genuine concern you cannot find anywhere but Eastwindgifts.com."
For holidays 2012, Howard expects retailers to be focused on getting the best possible products at the best prices. Eastwind customers who spend more than $700 can get a ten percent off discount (checkout code "wholesale10"), while purchases exceeding $1,400 garner a 15 percent discount ("wholesale15"). "We offer a large line of lower and mid-range price point merchandise that provides resellers with the capability of offering popular discount items integral to sales, at a price the consumer is willing to pay," Howard states.
At Eastwindgifts.com, independent retailers can find a plethora of stylish items that have been traditional best sellers. "Of course, we offer thousands of products that make perfect gifts throughout the year," Howard adds. The company keeps the consumer mindset at the center of its wholesale strategy. "Consumers want the best possible product for the best price, and that will never change," notes Howard. "They will continue to search for deals and discounts, and to meet those demands, retailers will not have to look further than Eastwind Wholesale Gift Distributors."
Holiday Prices Are Right
The holidays are a diverse season for Koehler Home Décor, where sales surge in product categories like bath and body, books, candles, centerpieces, lanterns, and toys. At www.koehlerhomedecor.com, retailers can check out the current 100 top sellers, as well as more general best seller departments. "Our whimsical Christmas decorations are hot, too," says David Koehler, vice president of sales for the Portland, OR wholesaler. "We understand the retailer's need for a variety of merchandise that appeals to every type of shopper. So we supply discount, mid-range, and high-end price point merchandise." These include a large array of Christmas ornaments, which wholesale from $1 to $9; holiday candles from 50 cents to $17; Christmas tableware from $1 to $6; and lighted figurines from $2 to $17, as well as nativity sets, popular plush dolls, and toys at great wholesale prices. Koehler says the general marketplace is starting to show an increase in demand for luxury-type items. "We fill our client's needs by increasing our higher end merchandise selections, as well as offering more branded merchandise."
Like other wholesalers in recent years, Koehler Home Décor has taken to social media marketing, setting up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google. More interestingly, Koehler and his staffers have launched a successful Pinterest page, where there are around 30 product boards and nearly 400 pins. He suggests the reportedly "sticky" Pinterest, which has been the digital marketing story of the year so far, helps his brand reach customers where they are spending the most time.
The wholesaler has an impressive online presence, with countless customer previews posted. Koehler says many attest to his firm's excellent customer care. "We take pride in delivering prompt and complete resolutions via email seven days a week," David Koehler says. "We strive to provide a service experience that is a cut above the customer's expectations."
For more information:
All Seasons Home Concepts
Monterey Park, CA 91754
PO Box 2308
Omaha, NE 68103-2308
Pacific Enterprises Group Inc. dba. Eastwind Wholesale Gift Distributor
1001 SW 5th Ave., Suite 1100
Portland, OR 97204
Koehler Home Décor
One World Trade Center
121 SW Salmon St., Ste. 1100
Portland, OR 97204
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